Limited amounts of ultra violet radiation are essential to human beings. UV radiation assists in the making of vitamin D in the body, and in the treatment of various diseases like rickets and jaundice. However, prolonged exposures of ultra violet radiation are a threat to human health. The mostly affected areas of human body by the UV radiation are the skin, eyes and weakening of the immune system. The effects of excessive UV radiation may be acute or chronic (Attwood, 2000).
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For instance, sunburns are categorized among the acute impacts, while skin cancer and cataracts are among the chronic effects. Other effects of UV radiation include premature aging of the skin due to adverse changes of skin cells and blood vessels. More than 70000 cases of skin cancer were reported in 2000, according to the research on skin cancer from UK. This research proofs that over 2500 people die from skin cancer annually.
The exposure to UV radiation may be either from natural or the artificial source. The natural source of ultra violet radiation is sun only, and is the common source. The artificial sources that may affect a person at work or at home include, radiation from medical therapy, tanning booth, and welding areas among others (Attwood, 2000). The sun emits different types of electromagnetic radiation among them, ultra violet A radiation, ultra violet B radiation, and ultra violet C radiation.
They vary in strength UVC having the weakest wavelength, thus its only UVA and UVB that reach the earth surface. Before these radiations reach the earth surface, the harmful ones are absorbed by the ozone layer. However, the radiations with high frequencies pass the ozone layer and impose their effects to the human skins. Ozone layer is considered to be essential to the human health.
Despite the fact that strong ultra violet radiation are emitted by both natural and artificial sources, people should not expose themselves carelessly. Some measures should be taken to reduce the degree of exposure to prevent risky consequences. To begin with, the public should limit their time in the midday sun (Attwood, 2000).
The strongest UV radiation from the sun is between 10 am and 4pm, and any person should avoid these rays. Secondly, the public should make use of UV index that is provided by the National Weather Service. The UV index would help one to understand sun safety practices.
Thirdly, while using shade to prevent UV rays, one should choose wisely, as not all of them offer complete protection. For instance, trees and umbrellas should not be used as a protection from UV rays.
Other protection measures include, making use of broad-spectrum sunscreens that can absorb more than 85% of both UVA and UVB rays from the sun (Attwood, 2000). This should be applied regularly approximately after every two hours.
All the exposed body parts like the back of the neck should be applied sunscreen liberally few minutes before exposure. After exposure, those areas should be applied after every two hours while doing other day activities. Lastly, the public should avoid sunlamps and sunbeds as they damage both the skin and the eyes by making the skin age.
As a health educator, I would ensure this educative information reach the public, so that they can take the corrective measures. Educating people in health centers when they come for medical services would be appropriate (Attwood, 2000). Visiting different social gatherings to pass this information would also be an option.
I would also visit several schools and give a speech on this topic to make students aware. Moreover, I would also make some hard copies containing this information and distribute them to the public to get this important message concerning their health.
Attwood, T.D. (2000). Soft X-Rays and Extreme Ultraviolet Radiation: Principles and
Applications. Manhattan: Cambridge University Press.